Council tables decision on Crown Ridge rezoning

Published 11:00pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013

At the start of the Selma City Council meeting, the council held a public hearing for the re-zoning of the Crown Ridge neighborhood in Ward 2 off of Old Marion Junction Road. Following the public hearing the council tabled the issue, and will vote on it at a later time.

Members of the public were allowed to address the council as to why they oppose the construction by Speir Land Company of smaller garden homes in one portion of the neighborhood. One member said in the hearing that there are 22 homes in the current subdivision and she has a petition against the garden homes with 13 signatures.

Three residents from Crown Ridge are who spoke against the new development, cited property value depreciation as the reason for their stance against the garden homes.

“The impact of this project is going to be a negative appraisal value on the existing homes not just in Crown Ridge and the people across the street,  but what about in Lansdowne? What about the people in Castlewood and all of the homes along Old Marion Junction Road?” resident of the area, Phyllis Gosa said to the council. “If we start doing this today, the image of that neighborhood and that area will go into decline. That will ultimately affect the amount generated from tax revenue from property taxes.”

But land owner and developer of the project, Harold Speir said this is his eighth neighborhood development in town and the addition of 26 to 32 garden homes all sitting on roughly 6.5 acres of land in Crown Ridge will not depreciate homes.

“We are not asking for smaller homes, we are asking for smaller lots. So there is less maintenance with the same size house,” Speir said. “Because that is what people are looking for — maybe older people who want to retire or people who do not want the maintenance of a yard.”

The garden homes are planned to be 1,600 feet each and current homes in Crown Ridge range from 1,600 feet to 2,000 feet, according to one resident.

Executive Director of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, Sheryl Smedley, said she is in favor of the new development.

“Currently we have 5,200 people that commute into our community everyday to work. We have 3,000 people that live in Dallas County that their income is $60,000 or more,” Smedley said. “I get requests everyday asking why don’t we have an Applebee’s, why don’t we have an O’Charleys, why don’t we have an Outback Steakhouse? These developers want to come to our community, but there is criteria. One of the criteria is median household income.”

Smedley said she feels commuters would be more likely to live in Selma if there were more housing options, which would in turn increase average incomes.

“These people are making the kind of income that we need to be able to show developers that, yes, we can support those ventures in our community, Smedley said. “We don’t have adequate housing available here, that’s why we are losing them to our neighboring communities such as Prattville.”

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